As Indigenous Peoples' Month draws to a close, I want to put this out there, because the struggle for indigenous peoples' rights will continue long after October: Indigenous Critique.
The seed of indigenous critique or kritikang katutubo was planted in my head by J. Neil, in a conversation we had some years ago. We were talking about epics! Since then I've been on the look out for it, and I'm still learning to attend to it. Luckily, I have great traveling companions on the learning curve of anthropology and policy, like Eizel.
Hopefully friends and colleagues will embrace this, take it with them on their missions, and make it their own. And if the way I've written it is flawed (surely the work has its flaws), then I hope friends will be friends and share their thoughts on how this work could be made better -- more importantly, how this could be made to serve indigenous purposes better.
So what is Indigenous Critique?
"Indigenous critique... is constituted by knowledge, practice, history, action, and participation. As a vital part of today’s indigenous movements, indigenous critique builds ‘pragmatically on older experiences of resistance and cultural survival’ (Clifford, 2013:17)."
"While conventional views might accept the rightness of law and take state dominance as a given, indigenous critique reveals and simultaneously questions the reproduction of minoritisation by instruments of the state."
"... Like indigenous knowledge systems and practices, indigenous critique is born out of generations of experience. It does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, it is produced in a network – not in isolation – and connects communities to one another. It travels with information and news and is archived in dialogues and consultations. It is contemporary knowledge with a traceable history.
"Yet, it is not given the same attention, value, and systematic study as IKSP. Or, if it is studied at all, it becomes repackaged and delivered as academic critique."
These excerpts are from here:
The paper is/was an attempt to identify and amplify the registers of indigenous critique. The paper is full of indigenous voices and it's truly an honor that the indigenous leaders I quote took co-authorship under a group identity. I have to say though that I think any academic project of amplifying indigenous voices will be insufficient by nature. The language of academe is not the best language for communicating ideas or for engaging communities. What we must listen to or create space for are indigenous peoples speaking for themselves. And yet, here is an academic attempt anyway. My fervent hope is that the idea will take on a life of its own outside of academe, in the hands of the right people.
End of "speech." Bow.